I know I’ve vanished into the Blogosphere these last few months, and I’m sorry for that, but real life interrupted in a very big way.  My mother lost her fight with cancer in January.  You see, back in late June/early July, her back started hurting her really bad.  A visit to her doctor determined it was, probably, a pulled tendon or ligament.  He prescribed a muscle relaxer and some stronger pain medication.  But the pain did not go away and, for some unknown reason, she was growing weaker.

At first, a gastrointestinal bleed was the suspect, but, just when she was about to undergo an endoscopy, she admitted that the bleeding was vaginal.  This had been going on for a while and she told no one for no other reason than that she didn’t like getting Pap tests.  I cannot describe how angry I was with her about that.  In fact, I’m still angry.

I took this photo on Christmas in 2010.  One of my presents that year was a digital camera.

Myriad doctors and tests later, she was diagnosed with cervical cancer.  Initially, it was staged as a 2b or 3a, but the PET Scan (this is a CAT Scan where the patient is, first, injected with radioactive glucose that serves to highlight the cancer cells) results brought it to a 4.  It wasn’t just the cervix/vagina/uterus involved, but her liver, a handful of spots in the lungs and at least one of the pelvic lymph nodes.  The cervical tumor was also pressing against the urethra draining her left kidney, making a nephrostomy (a tube inserted into the back that drains the kidney into a bag) necessary.  With all of this, along with her age and overall health, a cure was no longer the goal of treatment, just the alleviation of pain and stoppage of the bleeding.

This takes us into late October, early November.  The rest of November and most of December was taken up with treatment and home care which was given by myself and my older sister.  There were also a couple of hospital stays due to blood loss and a persistent urinary tract infection.

Finally, in mid-December, Mom decided she could not endure any more treatments.  After that, the decline was rapid.  And, on January 10, she died at home. My sister and I were with her.  In many ways, it was a relief.  She wasn’t hurting anymore.

In the aftermath, my sister and I were left devastated and drained.  Add to all of that Hurricane Matthew and the floods that followed in October and November, and the fact that the car died at a Walmart gas station, leaving us without reliable transportation, and an explosion of family drama over the funeral arrangements and….  All of that’s just the tip of the iceberg.  Whoever said “when it rains, it pours” knew what they were talking about.

So no car, no job (remember, full time care?) and, now, we are having to deal with the companies with which Mom did business.  Most of them have been extremely kind and understanding.  Others have not.  For example, there’s one that actually sent a bill for premature termination of contract.  Excuse me?  She DIED for crying out loud.  I think we got that one straightened out.  But, if they send one more bill, I’m sending it back with the address to the cemetery and the plot number!

Anyway, that’s why I haven’t posted for so long, and my posts are liable to be sporadic for a while longer.

Mom needs help! by Becky Sumrell – GoFundMe

via Mom needs help! by Becky Sumrell – GoFundMe

America’s Favorite Halloween Candy by State


Okay, it’s clear that me and my taste buds need to move to Montana.  Love me a Kit Kat bar.  Or maybe West Virginia.  I don’t think I ever got Oreos while trick-or-treating.  I feel deprived.  Why anyone likes candy corn baffles me.  My state’s choice?  Butterfinger.  Other than Kit Kat, my favorite candies are Almond Joy, Reese’s Cups, and Peanut M&Ms.  I don’t think I’ve ever had Toblerone or Swedish Fish.  Not all that sure I’d like Toblerone since I’m not a big fan of honey.

via America’s Favorite Halloween Candy State By State | Influenster

There is now light!

The power finally came back on yesterday evening.  Now I have the fun task of cleaning out my fridge and freezer. The storm left a lot of sticks in my yard and one mid-sized tree limb.  So, not bad there.  The ground still squishes a bit when you walk on it, though.  Fortunately, there’s no rain in the forecast for the next week.

I don’t live in a flood-prone area, so that’s something.  Around here, the gauge for the last seventeen years has been “If it didn’t flood after Floyd, it probably won’t”.  In some places, that’s being thrown out the proverbial window, but the rivers and creeks closest to me are not forecast to exceed Floyd levels.

September Reads 2016

rosen_dressWell, I started off the month with a quick re-read of A Breath of Fresh Air by Amulya Malladi. I just couldn’t resist. And, yes, I cried. Again. I think this the fourth time I read this book and it always ends with me in tears. And wanting to beat Prakash into a bloody pulp.

Next I dived into Nine Women, One Dress by Jane L. Rosen. This was a fun read about the little black dress of the season from its creation, to its runway debut, through its life at Bloomingdale’s and beyond. And it’s about the nine women who wear it. All of the romances were predictable from the start and the adultery thing easy to figure out, but it remained a delightful little book. Though, maybe it’s because I live in the rural South, but the “cow in a cotton field” had me blinking at the page a few times, going “Why would a cow be in a cotton field?” 🙂

robb_apprenticeNext was the new Eve and Roarke! Forty-four books and they still haven’t gotten old. Even when the case is a little ho-hum, which this one isn’t, the characters make this series fun and addictive. I really wanted Eve, or Roarke, to kick Mackie’s Dr. Frankenstein wannabe ass. I know Eve did, metaphorically, but, though I enjoy a good metaphor, it doesn’t beat a fist in the face. Or knee to something more painful. One thing’s for sure, Omega has got to be an interesting place with both Rayleen and Will there. Fun times.

scot_macleanAfter that, I went on a bit of romance kick. First up, Sarah MacLean’s latest A Scot in the Dark. I liked Lillian quite a bit more than I did Sophie. She didn’t seem to have as big a case of RHIS (Romance Heroine Idiotic Syndrome). After the loneliness and neglect of her adolescence, it is understandable that she would fall for the first man, heck first person, to pay any attention to her at all. So what idiocy she does display, the man was an obvious ass after all, is understandable. Alec’s is not. Why did her believe that bitch? I don’t get it. Even when his childhood is explained it still didn’t justify his stubborn belief in her insults. It was annoying. But a fun read, nonetheless. I’m quite looking forward to Serafina’s story. Although I’m not sure how Ms. MacLean means to rehabilitate Haven. From what I remember of The Rogue Not Taken, he was another obvious ass, magnified and enhanced by ducal arrogance.

noble_gambleIn her newsletter, MacLean mentioned her Romance recommendations page. Curious, I checked it out. A few titles jumped out at me. One of them was The Game and the Governess by Kate Noble. I’m sorry to say I can’t echo Ms. MacLean. I ended up dropping it due to annoyance with the airhead hero. I have problems with the Bet Trope to begin with, but add in a space cadet and it was just, “No.” To give credit where it’s due, this was different. Usually it’s the heroine who’s the idiot. There are some other books on the list that have gone onto my TBR wish list: The Year We Fell Down by Sarina Bowen, For Real by Alexis Hall, Rock ~N~ Soul by Lauren Sattersby, Soul Song by Marjorie M. Liu, and The Bollywood Bride by Sonali Dev to name just a few.

kleypas_cold-heartedI finished the month with the first book in Lisa Kleypas’s Ravenels series, Cold-Hearted Rake. If you’ll remember, I read, and enjoyed, the second book, Marrying Winterbourne in July. First, would someone explain to me why the woman on the cover is wearing pink? Kathleen was a widow in deep mourning. It should have been a woman in an elaborately ruched black gown, complete with bustle, wearing a gorgeous autumn colored shawl. Anyway… I quite enjoyed this book. I wanted to smack Devon upside the head for being obtuse, but that’s par for the course. The next book, Devil in Spring, will be Pandora’s. That should be interesting, but what I’m really looking forward to is West’s story.

LibraryReads October List

library_reads_logo_websiteLibraryReads has posted their October list.  Skimming the titles, there are several already on my TBR list.  I’m especially eager for Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple, one of my most anticipated books of the year.  Still don’t like the cover, though.  mothers_bennettThe Mothers by Brit Bennett, sounds really good.  The Motion of Puppets is also on my list.  It’s bound to be the perfect Halloween read.  Keith Donohue’s books are always wonderfully creepy without being full of gore.

I’m surprised to find I now want to read Connie Willis’s new one, Crosstalk.  She’s one of my sister’s authors.  I’ve never really gotten into her books, but this one sound like fun.  And I think I’m going to add their favorite, News of the World by Paulette Jiles.

Sally Bourden

Okay, yet another mystery woman has popped up in my Bourden research.  The following is a deed between Baker Bourden and John Watkins, dated September 9, 1815, and witnessed by Sally Bourden and Readin Bourden (Deed Book 5a, page 531):

This Indenture made this 9th day of September in the year of our Lord eighteen hundred and fifteen, Between Baker Bowden of the County of Duplin & State of North Carolina and John Watkins of the County & State above mentioned, Witnesseth, that I the said Baker Bowden for and in consideration of the sum of one hundred & eighty three dollars to him the said Baker Bowden in hand paid by the said John Watkins before the sealing & delivering of these presents, the receipt whereof he doth hereby acknowledge, hath given granted bargained and sold and doth hereby give grant bargain sell alien convey & confirm unto the said John Watkins his heirs or assigns forever, a certain tract or parcel of land situate lying & being in the County of Duplin on the head of Calf Pasture branch, on both sides of the main road & joining Wayne County line, Beginning at a pine & Black Jack Jacob Taylor’s corner, & runs along Reuben Johnston’s line Wt. 100 poles to a pine, thence No. 210 poles to a pine, thence Et. 100 poles to a pine on Jacob Taylor’s line by his corner, thence to the beginning, containing one hundred & twenty five acres be the same more or less, which said bargained lands & premises with all the improvements privileges or advantages to the same belonging or in anywise appertaining, I the said Baker Bourden do bind myself my heirs exers. or admns. to warrant secure & forever defend unto him the said John Watkins his heirs excrs. admins or assigns forever against all person or persons whatsoever.  In witness whereof I the said Baker Bourden have hereunto set my hand & affixed by seal this day & date above written.

Baker Bourden

Signed sealed acknowledged in presence of

Sally (her mark) Bourden
Readin Bourden

State of No. Carolina Duplin County, July Term 1816 –
Then was the within deed proved in Court by the oath of Sally Bourden & ordered to be registered.

Copy Th. Routledge, Esq.
Test, W. Dickson, C.C.

Who the heck is Sally Bourden?  Sally is probably short for Sarah.  Did Reading have another wife before he married Nancy?  Or did Mary Branch Bowden predecease her husband and Baker took a second wife?  Or she could be one of Baker and Mary’s daughters.  This is the first time I’ve come across this name.

August Reads 2016

SisQ_GregoryWell, this month started slow and, when I finally did find the time to pick up a book, Three Sisters, Three Queens by Philippa Gregory, I ended up dropping it in frustration.  With the heroine.  Margaret Tudor is one of the most idiotic female leads in a historical fiction novel not a bodice-ripper I’ve ever had the misfortune to come across on a page.  Complete airhead.  She can be having a serious conversation or thinking about her next political move, then, all of sudden, it’s all about jewels, or gowns, or whether or not her sister Mary or sister-in-law Katherine have more, or better, of either of these than her.  It’s annoying.  While enjoying the story, I just couldn’t take her stupidity any more.

Wild-Embrace_SinghNext, I picked up Nalini Singh’s new Psy-Changling anthology, Wild Embrace.  This one was fun.  Dorian was definitely my favorite story of the bunch.  I adored the little peeks into their cubhood and the scene with Lucas, when he finds out what happened, is priceless.  The one I liked the least was Kenji and Garnet’s story, Flirtation of Fate.  It was a good story, don’t get me wrong, but I still find I want to smack Kenji and am annoyed that Garnet didn’t do more of it.  I want more Desi and Felix and I really, really, really want to know how Aden, Judd, and Vasic found out about Stefan and Tazia.  Can we get a newsletter short story?  Please?

Luck_ReichertAfter I finished wallowing and sighing over Dorian, Felix, and Stefan, I, finally, opened Luck, Love and Lemon Pie by Amy E. Reichert.  This novel is about MJ and Chris Boudreaux, a couple who have been married for twenty years, have two teenagers, and have grown apart.  Each of them uses poker as an escape, building a seemingly unscalable wall between them.  Add in an old rival and a gorgeous Irishman and you have a whole lot of trouble.  All of which could, of course, have been prevented if MJ had just talked to her husband the way her friends advised her to do in the beginning.  While she made me want to roll my eyes at times, I still enjoyed the story.  Okay, I did roll my eyes.  And may have huffed out an annoyed sigh or two.  Or three.  But it was a fun read, for all that.  And, now, dang it, I want a fat slice of lemon pie.  Fortunately, I have a recipe for a really good one without the baking and without the guilt:  Simple Lemon Pie.

Mothers_MalladiThen, at last, I sat down with Amulya Malladi’s latest, The House for Happy Mothers (my full review). I’ve been looking forward to this since Malladi announced it on her blog last year.  I’ve read all of her books and especially loved A Breath of Fresh Air.  That one I’ve read more than once.  It makes me cry.  The House for Happy Mothers didn’t do that, but it’s still a poignant read.  I liked Asha and sympathized with her and the other women throughout.  Linden-Scandal-2What they do is a very difficult thing.  And, while I liked Madhu, it took me a while to really warm up to Priya.  Mostly because she was just so blind where Dr. Swati was concerned.

To end the month, I read It Takes a Scandal by Caroline Linden.  This the second book in her Scandalous series.  You have your brooding, tortured hero with Gothic overtones, including a mad father, and who’s still pained by wounds suffered at Waterloo and a nouveau riche heroine, who, surprisingly, is not an American.  And let us not forget the rather cartoonish villain and a mischievous little dog.  In other words, It Takes a Scandal was a romance novel cliche.  Not that a cliche can’t be entertaining if you’re in the right mood.  Which I wasn’t. This one just annoyed me.  I did a lot of exasperated eye rolling with this one.  I doubt I’ll read anything else in this series.

The Brothers Bourden: Men of Family

The family first enters the marriage bond records of Duplin County September 29, 1779 when Samuel acted as surety for John Shuffield to purchase one to marry the widow Elizabeth Graddy. And on October 17, 1780, Nicholas acted as bondsman for William Rogers and Sarah Screws.  As we enter the 1780s, the next generation of Bowdens/Bourdens begin to appear in these and in land records.  Remember, Baker and his family moved to New Hanover County. They were living there by July 8, 1783. On that date, in that county, James Holmes, “a mulatto boy,” was bound to him “until 21 to learn trade of a shoemaker” (New Hanover County Court Minutes, Part 2, 1771-1785, Abstracted, Compiled and Edited by Alexander McDonald Walker, page 78).  So everyone in the Duplin County records from the next generation from that point on belongs to either Samuel or Nicholas.  They’ve been a bit of a jigsaw puzzle to fit together, but thanks to the resources available through the Duplin County Register of Deeds website, duplinrod.com, I’ve been able to sort out the male children.  Through deeds of gift of both land and, unfortunately, slaves, we can identify most of the sons of Samuel and Nicholas.  Even a few of the grandchildren can be placed in this way.  Their girls, however, remain guess work.

On January 9, 1781 James Bizzell, with Willis Cherry as surety, purchased a bond to marry Mary Bowden. James was the son of William Bizzell and his wife, Hannah. Due to proximity, I’m as certain as I can be without it being written in black and white that she was the daughter of Nicholas. Another marriage bond was purchased November 30, 1782, by James Winders, son of John Winders, Sr., and his first wife, Ann Bright Winders, for him to marry Anne Bowden. Samuel Bowden, her father, I think, was bondsman.  Using an average marriage age of 16 for these girls, I estimate they’d have been born in about 1765, give or take a year.

There is a tax list extant for Duplin County for the year 1783, but the first page is missing and the Bowdens, and maybe the Spences, were quite likely on it (Journal of North Carolina Genealogy, Volumes 18 and 19, by William Perry Johnson, page 2778 then continued on page 2813). There are several missing pages at the end, as well, according to Mr. Johnson.

In New Hanover County Court (County Court Minutes, Part 2, page 82), January Term, 1784, two deeds were proven upon the oath of Joel Parrish in which Daniell Bourdeaux sells land to Baker Bourden. Baker was appointed to be a juror next session on October 6 (page 89).

There is a second Baker that, now, enters the records.  He purchased a marriage bond April 2, 1785 to marry Mary Branch. Baker II is the son of Nicholas, as is proven by a deed of gift (Deed Book M, Page 71), dated March 21, 1801, in which

…Nicholas Bourden of the County of Duplin & State of No. Carolina for and in consideration of the natural love and good will & affection that I have & do bear unto my Son Baker Bourden…

grants his son 222 acres of land on the south side of the Northeast Cape Fear River.  The deed was witnessed by Levin Watkins and Reading Bourden, we’ll get to him in a minute, and proven in July 1802 by the oath of Levin Watkins.

Burwell Branch and Archelaus Branch acted as sureties for the marriage bond. Just what relation they were to Mary is unknown at this time, but I’m thinking they were her brothers. In his Revolutionary War Pension Application Burrell Branch says he was “born in Dobbs County N.C. now Greene County in the year 1757.” If Mary was 16 when she married Baker, she’d have been born in 1768 or 1769. Archelaus also married in 1785, March 30, to Hepsibeth Weston, daughter of Reuben Weston. Burwell, again, acted as bondsman. Say he was twenty when he married, Archelaus would have been born in about 1765. I figure Baker to have been about the same age.

Reading, as proved by a deed of gift (Deed Book M, page 74) dated July 15, 1799, was also Nicholas’s son and, thus, Baker’s brother.

…Nicholas Bourden of the County of Duplin & State of No. Carolina for & in consideration of the natural love good will & affection that I have and do bear unto my Son Reading Bourden of the same County and State…

Nicholas gave Reading 405 acres on the south side of the Northeast Cape Fear River and east side of Poley Bridge.

Also in 1785, a project was launched to improve the navigation of Goshen Swamp. A committee was appointed in April of that year to divide the area into manageable districts and to take a kind of census of the inhabitants. The committee reported its findings in July. The result was 17 districts. Samuel Bowden, Sr., was in the 8th district which was “from the upper end of Sampson Grimes Slew to the head of Outlaws Slew,” and Nicholas and his sons Baker and Samuel, were in the 11th district “from Winders foot path up to the lower end of Rogers Slew.” Isaac Spence was also in the 11th. (“Navigation on Goshen Swamp, Duplin County, NC 1785” by Tom Byrd, North Carolina Genealogical Society Journal, Volume 8, no. 1, page 2, via William and Nathan Bullard family: history and genealogy by Spence Bullard Ardell, pages 276-279). The project never really got off the ground.

In 1784-1786, a State Census was taken (Duplin County, North Carolina : census taken by the state of North Carolina, 1786 by Alvaretta Kenan Register, or see Duplin County 1784-1786 State Census).

Head of
Free White
21-60 -21/60+ 12-50 -12/50+
List of Capt. Bowden’s Company taken by Francis Olliver & Returned April 1786
1. Nicholas Bowden 1 4 2
2. Baker Bowden 1 1 1
55. Saml. Bowden 1 3 3
64. Jas. Bizzel 1 1 2
List of Capt. Kenan’s Dist., taken by Daniel Hicks & Returned April Term 1786
25. Jas. Winders 1 1 2

So, according to this census, Nicholas has himself, four sons under 21, his wife, and a daughter at home. Unfortunately, free white females weren’t differentiated by age. He and his wife have two Bizzell grandchildren, a boy and a girl, and young Baker and his wife, Mary, have already given them a grandson. This may be the William Bowden who would marry Louisa Price December 30, 1807 with Robert Southerland as bondsman. Samuel and his wife, Catherine, have three sons at home, all under 21, and two daughters. James and Anne Winders have given him two granddaughters.  So, with the exception of Baker, all of the sons accounted for in this census were born after 1765.

On the 1786 Tax List, again in Bowden’s District, we find Nicholas listed between two Bakers and two Samuels. Yes, there are, now, two Samuels to go with the two Bakers.  Samuel II is another son of Nicholas as proven by this deed of gift (Deed Book M, page 72), dated July 15, 1799, in which

…Nicholas Bourden for divers good causes & considerations him thereunto moving but more Especially for and in consideration of the natural affection and good will which he hath and doth bear to his said Son Samuel Bourden…

grants him him 220 acres of land “on the dreans of White Oak Swamp.”

It’s interesting that the younger Samuel is listed separately, instead of as a second poll in his father’s household.  Was he married, then?  There exists a Samuel Bowden Family Bible.  According to this document, his first child, Dorcas, wasn’t born until 1808.  However, this does not discount his having been married before, the first union being childless.  It is possible that the Tabitha Bowden I discussed in my previous post, The Brothers Bourden: The Wives, was Samuel II’s first wife instead of his mother.  I have nothing to prove who she was, just that she was.  At this point the minimum age for a free white male to be considered taxable was 21.  I don’t know when in 1786 this tax list was taken, but, if after April, we may conclude that the younger Samuel was born after that month and turned twenty-one in the interim and, thus, was born in 1765, though later census data suggests something closer to 1769.

James Bizzell and his father, William, are also present in Bowden’s District. And James Winders, two listings, is found in Kenan’s District. There are no Spences on this list or on the state census roll discussed previously.

Baker, Sr., was again appointed a juror for the next term October 7, 1786 (New Hanover County Court Minutes, Part 3, 1786-1793, page 12). He wrote his will October 20, 1787 in which he appointed “My Brother Samuel Bowdin” as one of the executors, the other being Joel Parrish. Only his three oldest children are mentioned by name:  John (the plantation he lives on, bordering Baker’s own), Rebecca (a feather bed she already has and a chest), and Richard (the plantation on which Baker lived, a cow and calf, one heifer, two sows and pigs, and one feather bed).  These children must have been of age, meaning they were of or over 21.  Thus, they were born in or before 1766.  Richard Bowden Jones concludes that Richard was underage, but it doesn’t read that way for me.  Both Rebecca, whose last name is not given, and John were probably already married.  We’ll discuss Rebecca’s husband later, but  John’s wife was named Elizabeth.

22 May 1792…John Bowden ack. two deeds from himself, Elizabeth Bowden and Susanna Nelson to James Bloodworth; and William Wright to examine Elizabeth Bowden as to her consent (New Hanover County Court Minutes, Vol. 3, page 72).

Baker specified that his wife, unnamed, was to have the right to live on the home plantation for the rest of her life and that she was to receive everything else “and for her to give to the Rest of My Children as she shall think proper.” The will was proven in New Hanover County Court January term, 1790. From New Hanover County Court Minutes, Part 3, 1786-1793, Abstracted, Compiled and Edited by Alexander McDonald Walker:

5 January 1790 … Estate of Baker Bowden, Decd.–Will proved by Jno. Fulwood; and Joel Parish qualified as Exr. (page 48).

9 Apr 1790 … Estate of Baker Bowden, Decd.–Martha Bowden, decedent’s widow appointed Admrx. with will annexed; bond 200 pounds; John Erwin and James Stanley, sur. (page 52).

On April 8, 1789, three Bowdens, Tabetha, Samuel, and Bryan, witnessed a deed between Owen O’Daniel and William Duncan.  Samuel, we’ve already introduced, but this is the first time we meet his brother, Bryan.  Their father, Nicholas, gifted (Book 4A, page 292) him,

…for and in consideration of the natural love and affection which I have and do bear unto my beloved son Bryan Bourden…a certain negro girl slave named Hannah now twelve years old…

September 10, 1810.  The deed was witnessed by Simeon Garner and Readin Bourden and proven in July 1811 on Reading’s oath.  Samuel II, as I’ve already noted, may have been born in 1765.  Having witnessed this deed in 1789, Bryan was likely born in about 1768.

Isaac Spence and Levin Watkins purchased a marriage bond April 27, 1789 for Isaac to marry Elisabeth Bowden. Elisabeth is a little harder to pin down than the other girls. The evidence could be made to fit either Samuel or Nicholas being her father. Remember, in 1786, both of them have a daughter still at home.  Using our benchmark of 16, Elisabeth would have been born in about 1773.

In 1790, Samuel was living in Duplin County in “the Division allotted to James Kenan,” with his wife, 3 sons under 16, and one daughter. So one of his daughters died or married between 1786 and 1790.  Could she have been Elisabeth Spence?  And the living daughter could be the elusive Tabitha? Nicholas also lived in Kenan’s Division with his wife, 2 sons of or over 16 (Samuel and Bryan), and 2 under 16 (Reading and James). So two were born in or before 1774, and two after 1774.  His daughter is no longer living at home.  Right above him on the page is Isaac Spence.  He and Elisabeth have a son, probably Elisha, and a daughter. They’d only been married a year! Did he and Elisabeth have twins? Or did they anticipate their marriage vows? I’ve discussed this in more detail in my post Dolly Bowden. Young Baker is on the same page as Samuel with himself, Mary, two sons, and a daughter. This could be the Ann Bourden who married William Arnett December 15, 1814 with Edward Albertson as bondsman.  The boys could be William and either James II or Nicholas IV.

Heads of Households Free White Males Free White
Other Free Slaves
16+ <16
Samuel Bowden 1 3 2 0 0
Isaac Spence 1 1 2 0 0
Nicholas Bowden 3 2 1 0 0
Baker Bowden 1 2 2 0 0

Meanwhile, in New Hanover County, John and his wife, Elizabeth, have a son and three daughters, whereas Martha has herself, Richard, the only male over 16, and three boys under 16, all of whom would, thus, have been born after 1774, and two daughters at home.

Heads of Households Free White Males Free White
Other Free Slaves
16+ <16
John Bowden 1 1 4 0 0
Martha Bowden 1 3 3 0 0
James Stanley 1 2 1 0 1

Martha Bowden “of Long Creek” dictated her own will March 11, 1792 (Be sure to read Richard Bowden Jones’ post, Baker and Martha Bowden Wills, at Genealogy.com). In it she leaves her son John a linen wheel and her daughter Rebecca Stanley a mirror.  If Rebecca wasn’t married in 1787 when her father wrote his will, she is now.  Remember the James Stanley who was one of the sureties for the administrator bond for Baker’s estate?  Could this have been Rebecca’s husband?  Or, maybe her father-in-law.  There are two James Stanleys in New Hanover County on the 1790 census, one of whom is distinguished as “Senr.”  If the younger James was Rebecca’s husband, then they had two sons in 1790.  In her will, Martha does not mention Richard.  Where was he, I wonder?  She goes straight to the “other children.”  Sons Jesse, Nicholas, and Lemuel are left the cattle, respectively, called theirs.  Nicholas is also left a gun.  All of these goods are to be sold, and the money “put to interest for his use till he may attain the age of twenty one years.”  There are also two daughters Sarah and Molsey.  Both are left feather beds, bedsteads, and furniture.  She also left Sarah “one loom & implements thereto belonging, also one woolen wheel and one pair of cotton cards, and one large clothes chest,” and Molsey “six silver teaspoons.”  There is no indication of Sarah’s age, but Molsey was under eighteen.  Martha required that “the remainder of my property I desire may be sold and my just debts paid therewith; and what money may remain after payment of said debts, I bequeath to my said daughter Molsey Bowden to be put to interest for her use till she marry or attain the age of eighteen years.”  Thus, Molsey, like her brothers, was born after 1774.  She appointed Samuel Bowden “of Duplin County” Executor. Her will was proven upon the oath of her oldest son, John, in May 1792. Samuel filed the accounts of the sale of her Estate in New Hanover Court November 19, 1792 (Court Minutes, Part 3, page 80).

Nicholas was appointed an Executor, with Francis Oliver, in the will of John Ivey October 3, 1792. Both Nicholas and Samuel were witnesses. The will was proven on their oaths later that month. Samuel Bowden, Jr., bought a slave named Isaac from the estate of John Ivey November 15, 1794 for the sum of 220 silver dollars. Francis Oliver and Nicholas Bowden signed the bill of sale.

Reading Bourden probably married in about 1795.  This date is based on the fact that Reading sold some land to his son, Reading Jr., in Onslow County, in 1817.  For Junior to have been of age, i.e. of or over twenty-one years of age, at that time, then he’d have had to have been born no later than 1796.  Reading Sr.’s wife’s name was Nancy.  The only reason we know her name is because she left a will in Jones County, Georgia dated October 31, 1832 in which she appoints her son, Readin Bourden, Executor.  By then, Reading, Sr. was already dead and she had remarried a Stephenson.  Utilizing our average marriage age for men, 20, Reading would have been born in about 1775.

George Outlaw sold 185 acres of land “on the No. side of Goshen Swamp & on Cowhole branch, part of a patent granted James Hurst December 23, 1740”, to Bryan Bowden March 10, 1793 (Deed Book, K19, page 454). A portion of the price is covered by a piece of tape, but is was one hundred some pounds, lawful money. The deed was proven April 1798, on the oath of Francis Oliver.

Benjamin Bowden and Isaac Spence purchased a bond for Benjamin to marry Elizabeth Dunckan, daughter of William Dunckan (his will) and Ann Kornegay, January 20, 1798.  Using the benchmark of twenty for marriage for a man, Benjamin would have been born in about 1778.  This gels with later census data.

Samuel Bowden, along with Zachariah Turnage and Francis Oliver, partitioned the estate of William Taylor, deceased, between his sons-in-law, John Rhodes and Henry McCulloch, July 2, 1798.

In 1800 census, Benjamin and the younger Samuel make their first appearance on the census:

Free White Males Free White Females
<10 10-15 16-25 26-44 45+ <10 10-15 16-25 26-44 45+
Isaac Spence 3 1 1 1 0 1 1 0 1 0
Nicholas Bowden 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 1
Samuel Bowden 0 0 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 0
James Bizzel 1 2 0 0 1 1 2 0 1 0
Baker Bowden 2 1 0 1 0 3 1 0 1 0
Benjamin Bowden 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 1 0 0
Samuel Bowden 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 1
New Hanover County
John Bowden 0 1 2 2 0 0 2 1 1 1
James Standley 3 1 0 2 0 2 0 0 1 0

Isaac and Nicholas are on the same page, as are Samuel II and James Bizzel.  In fact, Bizzel and Samuel II are right beside each other.  On another page Benjamin is right beside Samuel I and so is John Winders, Anne’s father-in-law.  Benjamin and Elizabeth have a son, but who is the other man 16-25 in Benjamin’s household. Was he one of Elizabeth’s brothers?  Samuel, Sr. has two sons and a daughter still at home.  And Samuel, Jr. has two other men, not boys, men, in his household, but no wife. Was he a widower? If he was, maybe the other men were her brothers? Or, more likely, they were his brothers. Although, if they were Reading and Bryan, it begs the question where was Reading’s wife, Nancy?  Nicholas and his wife have only one son at home, though he’s over 16 (most likely James), and a mysterious boy under 10. I’m wondering if this was Mitchell? I’ve talked about Mitchell some in my posts Dolly Bowden and Hiram Wright and the Bowden Sisters. According to later census data, he was born in about 1792, so he would fit the scant data provided by this census. Though, whether he was a late-life “oops!” baby, or a grandson, I can’t discern. Baker and Mary have added two more daughters and another son to their family.  Are the other men in John’s household his younger brothers?  The older woman almost has to be his mother-in-law.  And is the extra adult male living with James and Rebecca Standley his brother or hers?

Another of Nicholas’s sons, Bryan, probably got married in the spring of 1801.  According to her Find-a-Grave page, his oldest daughter, Mary, was born January 18, 1802.  His wife, Nancy Ann, was the daughter of Benjamin Hodges and Patience Hallowell.  She is mentioned as Nancy Bourden in her father’s will, dated June 7, 1823.

Samuel gave his own son, Benjamin, 285 acres of land (Deed Book N, page 79) January 18, 1802 and Nicholas gifted land to his son, James (Book N, page 256), in February 1803. James received 160 acres. Bryan and Samuel (most likely Jr.) witnessed James’s deed and it was proven on Samuel’s oath in April 1803.

The year 1803 also saw Baker, Sr.’s daughter, Rebecca Standley, become a widow.  The will of her husband, James, dated January 20, 1803, was proven during the March Term that year.  Oddly, his brother, Spirus, did not qualify as Executor until March the following year.  Anyway, in the will, his wife’s name is given as Rebeccah, and he names their seven children:  James, Samuel, Spirus, William, Eleanor, Martha, and Sarah.

On December 26, 1803, Henry Bowden and Benjamin bought a bond for Henry to marry Mary “Polly” Gibbs, daughter of John Gibbs. Henry, as we discussed in my post about the wives, was the son of Samuel and Catherine, and, thus, Benjamin’s brother.  And, just a few days later on January 12, 1804, James and Samuel Bourden purchased one for James to wed Dolley Southerland. This, I think, is the younger Samuel.  Bryan Bourden was surety for Elisha Gibbs to purchase a marriage bond September 1, 1804 to marry Rebecka Gaylord.

The Sale of the Estate of John Winders, Sr. took place November 14, 1805.  Bryan Bowding purchased a bed & furniture, James Bowding a Dutch oven, Henry Bowdin 2 pare cards, and Benjamin Bowdin 2 boles (bowls or boles of cotton?).  Isaac Spence bought a few things, as did his brother, Timothy.

Finally, on the 1806 Tax List (better Source: “Duplin County – Alphabetical List of Taxables For the year 1806,” Journal of North Carolina Genealogy, Volume 10, Number 1, page 1258 and Number 4, page 1371), we have everyone.

Name Land White Polls BlackPolls
James Bizzel 485 0 3
Baker Bourden 0 1 0
Samuel Bourden 256 1 1
Ridden Bourden 405 1 0
James Bourden 200 1 0
Henry Bourden 0 1 0
Samuel Bourden 250 1 1
Benjamin Bourden 285 1 2
Nicholas Bourden 200 0 2
Isaac Spence 210 1 0
James Winders 682 1 2

James Bizzel and Baker come one right after the other on the list, as do Bryan and Samuel, Ridden and James, and Henry, Samuel, and Benjamin.  Notice everyone has 1 white poll besides James Bizzel and Nicholas Bourden? This means that there was only one male per household between the ages of 21 and 50 (see Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness – North Carolina Tax Records). Mitchell would have been 14 and William 20, so both were too young to be taxable. Nicholas, and, maybe, James Bizzel were over fifty. Nicholas, in fact, would have been 65. But what of Samuel? Both Samuels on this list have one free white poll. Samuel, Sr., would have been 69 in 1806. So, Samuel’s mysterious third son still lives, though he doesn’t appear in any deeds that I can find.  As I said in my post The Brothers Bourden: Men of War, I think the Ephraim Bowden, Ensign, mentioned in the pension application of Private Jeremiah Rackley may have been the son of one of the brothers, mostly likely Samuel, but the dates don’t fit for him to be this one.  This son was under 16 in 1790 and Ephraim would have had to have been at least 16 to have fought in the war and was quite likely older having attained the rank of Ensign by 1781.  I think he’d have been something close to 30 in 1790.

The sale of the estate of Elisha Gibbs was held August 19, 1806.  Bryan, Readen, Henry, and Benjamin Bourden all purchased items, as did Timothy Spence.

Also, Samuel may have been one of the Executors appointed in the will of John Cowan of New Hanover County July 19, 1810. If you look at the actual will, it’s actually kind of hard to tell if it says Samuel or Lemuel. The other Executor, or Executrix, was John’s wife, Sarah. Two of John’s daughters, Catherine and Susannah, were married to Samuel’s nephews, sons of Baker, Sr., Nicholas IV and Lemuel. The will wasn’t probated until November 1815. It doesn’t say who qualified as Executor.

If Samuel was alive at the time John Cowan wrote his will in 1810, he wasn’t by the time the census was taken. There is only one Samuel Bowden on it, and he’s listed as being between 26 and 44. Nicholas is the only one of the brothers still living. And Mitchell is no longer in his household, yet does not have one of his own, yet, either. Also, with Will appearing on the census, the grandchildren are starting to creep into the records and distinguishing everyone gets even more difficult. Baker II had sons named James and Nicholas!

Free White Males Free White Females
<10 10-15 16-25 26-44 45+ <10 10-15 16-25 16-44 45+
Duplin County
Bryan Bowden 2 1 2 1 0 2 0 0 1 0
Henry Bowden 1 0 2 1 0 3 0 0 1 0
James Bowden 0 0 0 1 0 2 1 0 1 0
Reddin Bowden 0 2 0 1 0 1 0 0 1 0
Sam’l Bowden 1 0 0 1 0 2 0 0 1 0
Will Bowden 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 0
Benjamin Bowden 2 1 0 1 0 2 0 0 1 0
Nicholas Bowden 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1
Wayne County
Baker Bowden 1 1 0 1 0 1 1 1 1 0

Henry and James are right next to each other, and Reddin and Samuel II are close to each other.  Baker II’s in Wayne County, but I think that’s because the county line moved not Baker.  None of these guys is over 44 years of age (the obvious exception being Nicholas II).

Nathan Garner purchased a marriage bond December 18, 1811 to marry Penelope Kornegay.  Readin Bourden acted as bondsman.  This has caused me to wonder if his own wife, Nancy, was a Garner or a Kornegay.

At one of the many Vendues of the Estate of Levin Watkins, the one on December 22, 1812, James bought 35 pounds of tobacco. If you read through all of the sales, you’ll note purchases by Benjamin, Bryan, and Reading as well.

The only Bowden I’ve been able to find on any War of 1812 Muster Roll is Reading Bowden, 1814 Muster – 3rd Regiment – 6th Company.  William Arnett, who would marry Reading’s probable niece, Ann, also served in this war.  His pension application files can be accessed at Fold 3.  After the war, Reading and his family moved to Onslow County, then to Craven, where they appear on the census rolls in 1820.  His oldest son, Reading, Jr., was most likely the Reading Bourden on the census rolls that year in Onslow County.  There are several land transactions in Onslow County during the late 1810s and the 1820s involving Reading, Sr. and Reading, Jr.

And Nicholas is still going in 1820. He does not appear in the 1830 census, so he must have died sometime in the 1820s. That’s as specific as I could get, until I made a few discoveries in Cumberland County. With the help of the Cumberland County Register of Deeds website, I found this in Deed Book 37, page 220:


Let me repeat that: “Nicholas Bowden of Cumberland County“! What the bleep?! The land in question was “on Hector’s Creek adjoining the line of Wake County.”  If you’ll remember that’s where the Spences and Nicholas’s son, James, ended up. In fact, the Spence family had several patents along Hector’s Creek near the Wake County line.


The first names of the witnesses are cut off by the way the book curls, but two of them have the surname of Bowden. And the deed was proven on the oath of Mitchel Bowden in June of 1827. I don’t know if Nicholas was still alive in 1827 or not. The only other reference I’ve found of him is in Abstracts of the minutes of Cumberland County NC Court of pleas and quarter sessions 1823-1824 by Carolyn N. Gibbons:

6 Dec 1823
Following persons drawn to serve as Jurors of next Term: Thomas RICHARDSON, Gilbert CARMICHAEL, Nicholas BOWDEN…Ordered Sheriff to summon them accordingly. (page 50)

1 Mar 1824
At a Court of Pleas & Quarter Sessions held for Cumberland Co at Court House in Fayetteville 1st Mon in Mar being the 1st day of the month, AD 1824 & 48th year of American Independence. Present the worshipful John A. CAMERON, John HOGG, David OCHILTREE, Esqs. The Sheriff returned the Venire Facias to him directed, Endorsed Executed on all but Nicholas BOWDEN. (page 52)

Could it be that Nicholas was not served because he died during the winter of 1823-1824? There are three men listed as being “excused from serving as Jurors at this Term.” Nicholas is not one of them. Nor was he one of the three fined “ni si for failing to attend & answer as Jurors.” So, his death is the only reason I can think of for his exemption.  He’d have been 82, nearly 83, a very great age for the time.

In sum, this is what I have.  Birth order is tentative and all dates are guesstimates:

Samuel Bowden (1737-1810) married Catherine ? (-after 1809)

  • Anne Bowden (c. 1765) married James Winders, son of John Winders and Martha Bright, November 30, 1782
  • Unknown Daughter
  • Unknown Daughter
  • Benjamin Bowden (c. 1775-1860) married 1)Elizabeth Dunckan, daughter of William Dunckan (his will) and Ann Kornegay January 20, 1798, 2) Mary Eliza Brown, daughter of Arthur Brown and Lucy Butler (pension application), July 5, 1832
  • Unknown Son (c. 1777-after 1800)
  • Henry Bourden (c. 1780) married Mary “Polly” Gibbs, daughter of John Gibbs (his will) and Sarah, December 23, 1803

Nicholas Bowden (1741-1824) married ? (-after 1820)

  • Mary Bowden (1765-1823; her will) married James Bizzell, son of William Bizzell and Hannah, January 9, 1781
  • Baker Bowden (1766-after 1816) married Mary Branch April 2, 1785
  • Samuel Bowden (1769-1841) married Mary “Polly” Stanley, daughter of Moses Stanley (Moses left a will dated 1811 in Wayne County) and Dorcas Croom (Samuel and Polly’s children are recorded in a family bible)
  • Byran Bowden (1771-1828) married Nancy Ann Hodges, daughter of Benjamin Hodges and Patience Hallowell
  • Daughter (1773)
  • Reading Bowden (1775-before 1830) married Nancy
  • James Bowden (1778-after 1850) married Dolly Southerland January 12, 1804
  • ? Mitchell Bowden (1792-after 1870) married Charlotte Jones

As I’ve said repeatedly, Elisabeth Spence could go either way

Parentage of Elisabeth Bourden Spence
Samuel & Catherine Nicholas
Daughter in household in 1786 that wasn’t there in 1790 Daughter in household in 1786 that wasn’t there in 1790
Isaac Spence acted as surety for marriage of Samuel’s son, Benjamin Right under Isaac Spence on the 1790 census
Same page as Isaac Spence on the 1800 census
Nicholas Bowden “of Cumberland County” sold land on Hector’s Creek on the Wake County line in 1823

and Mitchell Bowden could just as easily have been Nicholas’s grandson as his son.  Tabitha and Ephraim are complete  unknowns.

Baker (1743-1789) married Martha (?-1792)

  • John (1764) married Elizabeth
  • Rebecca (1765) married James Standley, son of James Standley, Sr.
  • Richard (1766-before 1840) married Elizabeth Williams, daughter of Jonathan Williams and Frances Cowart
  • Sarah (1772)
  • Jesse (1776)
  • Nicholas (1772-1844) married Catherine Cowan, daughter of John Cowan and Sarah
  • Lemuel (1780-1841) married Susannah Cowan, daughter of John Cowan and Sarah
  • Molsey (1782)

I wonder if James Standley/Stanley of New Hanover County was related to Moses Stanley of Duplin and Wayne?

Next, we’ll narrow the focus to James, Dolly, and their family.

The House for Happy Mothers by Amulya Malladi

I’ve been looking forward to this book since Malladi announced it on her blog last year.  I’ve read all of her books and especially loved A Breath of Fresh Air, which I’ve read more than once.  It makes me cry.  The House for Happy Mothers didn’t do that, but it’s still a poignant read. Mothers_Malladi

Priya and Madhu live in California.  They are happily married and successful, but have been unable to have children.  So, as a last resort, they turn to a surrogate in India.  Unfortunately, this has become somewhat of an industry among the poor women of India.

Asha, the surrogate, is doing this in order to give her young son, Monaj, a better education.  Monaj, you see, is extremely intelligent, as in genius, but, as poor as they are, he’d never have the opportunity for an education equal to his aptitude.  Her husband, Pratap,  would also like to purchase a flat, like his brother has, to give his family a stable home.

I liked Asha and sympathized with her and the other women throughout.  What they do is a very difficult thing.  I can’t imagine it.  To carry a child within your womb for nine months, nurturing it, feeling it move, going through the pain and sweat and blood of childbirth, then giving the child to strangers. And, while I liked Madhu, it took me a bit to really warm up to Priya.  Mostly because she was just so blind where Dr. Swati was concerned.  Dr. Swati was a cold, manipulative bitch and so was her niece.  You can’t help just getting so angry on behalf of the women in that half.  I gave a resounding “It’s about time!” when Priya finally clued it.  I also gave a little cheer when she stood up to Sush.

The end of the novel is very happy-sad in a good way.  I liked this book very much.

Rating:  4.25 out of 5 stars